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it is friday, september 14th. today, america welcomed home its heroes. >> greater love hath no man but this. a man that laid down his life for his friends. the flag they served under now carries them home. may god bless the memory of these men that laid down their lives for us all. may god watch over your families and all who loved them. and may god bless these united states of america. we begin this afternoon with the president who just an hour ago was at andrews air force base in maryland as the americans killed in libya were returned home. president, vice president, secretary of state and defense secretary were there to receive the bodies of ambassador
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christopher stevens, sean smith, tyrone woods and glen doherty, all killed tuesday at the american consulate in benghazi. the secretary of state began by offering these words of tribute. >> so we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines, and phase the future undaunted. and we will do it together, protecting and helping one another, just like sean, tyrone, glen, and chris always did. >> in addition to the presence of their families and the most senior members of government, this was also an opportunity for friends and colleagues to pay their respects. dozens of of state department workers boarded buses in washington to attend the ceremony. the president said those that gave their lives represented the
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very best of american leadership. >> the united states of america will never retreat from the world. we will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every person deserves, whatever their creed. whatever their faith. that's the essence of american leadership. that's the spirit that sets us apart from other nations. this was their work in benghazi and this is the work we will carry out. >> but while americans mourn at home, the united states faces a growing crisis throughout much of the rest of the world, from cast blank a to the pacific rim, protesters and rioters take aim at diplomatic missions from the united states and other western nations. in cairo, demonstrators threw rocks and clashed with police
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that fired tear gas at crowds amassing blocks from the embassy. in tune is, reports of two dead and two dozen injured outside the embassy. in jerusalem, a crowd of 400 tried to march on the u.s. consulate but was stopped when police fired stun grenades at the stone throwing mob. not even the pope can escape the wave of unrest. he arrived on a mission of peace in lebanon just as angry crowds vented their anger on the streets. 25 people were wounded, one person reported dead. and what has provoked this violence? an internet video described by the secretary of state as disgusting and reprehensible, but surely designed to provoke the trouble that's now erupted across the middle east. joining us in washington, representative chris van who will and, democrat from maryland. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> i imagine the return of ambassador stevens' body was
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particularly poignant for you, not just because like you he had been a public servant for a long time, but also you come from a family of diplomats, you're the son of an ambassador. >> yes, martin, it was a very moving ceremony as we welcome home our heroes lost in benghazi. my father was a career foreign service officer like ambassador christopher stevens was. and i know the risks that these americans take every day to represent our country overseas. so we welcome them home with great sadness, he and the others there to protect american personnel in libya, but also as the president and secretary of state have said, refortified in our intent to make sure that the united states remains a voice for democracy, for freedom and the rule of law around the world. >> and this despite many of your colleagues in the house and in
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the senate who were saying that what america should do now is withdraw funding, financial support, and frankly walk away from a number of these nations. >> well, that would be a very bad mistake. let's look at the situation in libya and remember that ambassador stevens was there to help the libyan people liberate themselves from a vicious dictator, and he was a friend of the libyan people and the libyan government has condemned the violence in the attacks against the americans. you saw the libyan ambassador to the united states at that ceremony at andrews air force base. so the worst thing to do would be to walk away from libya and the libyan people, especially after the united states invested such an effort in trying to liberate libya, so those who would want to walk away would be walking away from important american interests in the region. now, that's not to say that in places like egypt and elsewhere we shouldn't have a very serious
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conversation and make it clear that egypt and others have to protect american personnel. in the case of libya and benghazi, it was clear this was an effort by elements of al qaeda to take advantage of the situation and the last thing we should do is be retreating rather than again asserting our interest in the region. >> as you were speaking, sir, we are looking at pictures live from cairo where fires have been lit and protests continue for the fourth consecutive day. as you know, the republican nominee for president offered a somewhat premature and political attack on the president, even before we knew the full extent of the loss in libya. now even one of his supporters has offered a withering critique of his response. i would like you to listen, sir. >> americans don't want an i am pech with us candidate during a
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time of international upheave and foreign policy crisis. >> jon huntsman is right, it is no time for an in pech with us opportunist. >> jon huntsman is right, as the son of a foreign service officer, someone that served our country overseas, it was reprehensible to see mitt romney try to take political advantage of this tragedy, and i think every american, i know every american representing our country overseas would see that was a despicable act to try to exploit this kind of tragedy, and in fact, to make matters worse, this is the kind of time the united states is always united and rallied together in times of trouble, in times of sorry, and rallied together to reassert our leadership around the world as the president is doing and as secretary of state hillary clinton is doing. so it's good to see republican colleagues doing what we've always done in this country,
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which is in the tradition of bipartisanship coming together as a country to confront these challenges. >> yet despite that, sir, we learned mr. romney's advisers told "the washington post" that under a romney presidency, this would not have happened. now, that's a remarkable claim to make, is it not? >> it's a remarkable claim. i think it will really -- it's the kind of claim that just takes your breath away to such an extent that the american people i think are going to clearly reject the path of mitt romney. the reason i am struggling here is because it is so outrageous, martin. i am tempted to say somethi even harsher, but i believe that the american people will judge mr. romney on this and i think they will judge him very harshly for making such an outrageous claim and trying to exploit this
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tragedy for his own political purposes. this shows that he does not have a steady hand at the wheel. this shows just what an amateur he is when it comes to issues of national security and foreign policy and i think the american people will see that clearly. i don't think i need to add further to that. but again, i do speak as somebody who's father represented our country overseas as ambassador chris stevens did, and the men and women of the foreign service, they don't get involved in this political fray, they're always on the side of our country and i know that they see this as a reprehensible effort to exploit a tragic situation. >> mr. vanhollen, no reason to apologize. you understand these matters more than most of us. thank you. >> thank you, martin. >> stay with us. much more ahead.
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the romney campaign which began with a premature attack on the president continues to blame him for the protests that are now spreading. while american embassies are threatened overseas, romney's advisers tell "the washington post" none of this would be happening under a romney presidency. quote, there's a pretty compelling story that if you had a president romney, you'd be in a different situation. that's a distasteful remark, even for an opportunist campaign
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like mr. romney's, but one that's technically probably correct because it likely would be a much worse situation, after all, this is the man that refuses to admit his initial statements on tuesday's embassy attacks was an ill informed rush to judgment. indeed, he just keeps digging. >> where is the sympathy for the attacks done after the attacks happened? >> the statement stayed on the website for 14, 15 hours. >> what were they supposed to do, mr. romney, tell the attackers hold on, we just have to update our web page? conservative media have done their best to help mr. romney lower himself further. thankfully there are republicans like john mccain that know that you may disagree with the president on policy, but you can still stay on the side of the facts. >> we apologize to them? i am trying to understand this, senator. >> well, i am not sure there was
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an apology. >> they want sharia law implemented now in egypt. >> first of all, that's not clear that's true. >> so you were wrong about libya. >> i don't think i was wrong about libya. >> i know you were. >> i was not. >> they had a free and fair election and democratic, nonislamic government was elected, so you're wrong. >> joining us in washington, karen finney, msnbc political analyst, and from philadelphia, julian epstein, a democratic strategist. good day to both of you. julian, are we to seriously believe none of this would be happening, none of it, if mitt romney were the president? >> sure, let's look back at what happened under the bush administration where we had about five times as many attacks on embassies when george bush was president and had policies that mitt romney supported. look, i think that this story is going to move from condemnation of mitt romney to ridicule. the cartoon character that starts to come to mind is
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yosemite sam. i think the reason that so many republicans are criticizing romney right now is one that there has been a long-standing tradition of stopping at the water's edge when the country is attacked, when embassies are attacked and secondly, what the administration has done is to condemn religious in tolerance saying terrorists will pay a swift price. it is enormously hurtful to mitt romney, we will move into ridicule soon. >> there are protesters in cairo, we have live pictures from cairo in egypt there. things appear to be calmer and president morsi who was spoke tone by the president has taken heed and security forces are in place, you can see in large
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numbers. karen, why aren't many like mccain willing to refute trumped up charges that romney and his supporters perpetuate? this may be doing long term damage to their party. >> well, and it may be frankly doing some long term damage to america's standing in the middle east. these words have consequences. technically, we know a lot of these guys are crazy from the outside, they look at these guys and say these are duly elected leaders in your country saying these things. that's the other piece of things in terms of how irresponsible some of that is. i think they see a political opportunity here and they're going for it. one of the strongest, you know, advantages that president obama has had throughout this campaign has been foreign policy, and the other thing is i think they're trying to deflect from the fact that part of the problem, part of the reason we have the
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relationship and some of the tensions that exist are because of the war, preemptive war, war of choice by president bush in iraq and then afghanistan and that's part of what president obama has actually been trying to, you know, in addition to getting us out of the wars, undo some of that damage. that's not a conversation they want to have. i find it interesting when they talk about the sabre rattling, noecons going into iran, if we did that, it would be a similar situation, american forces on the ground, american resources not spent at home. it could be morsi we have seen on television now or as we saw with american loss of life coming home. there's a responsible element to this as well. >> you say that. julian, all i hear from people like paul ryan and the other expert on foreign policy, sarah palin, is that this president's affect has been one of weakness, and yet we've seen multiple
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dictators fall, and certainly american relationships with other nations improve. i don't understand what they want him to do. invade? what do they want him to do? >> that's the curious question. i agree with karen's point, these things are very harmful to the national interest, particularly when attached. to your question, martin, challenging president obama on foreign policy is like challenging michael phelps to a 200 meter race in the olympics. this is a guy who has one, taken out osama bin laden, taken out more of the al qaeda leadership in the last three years than was taken out in the previous eight years. a guy who oversaw and master minded, that is president obama, the fall of gadhafi, a guy ended two wars, a remarkable string of foreign policy successes, and
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according to every poll flipped what had been a traditional democratic disadvantage on foreign policy to a foreign policy advantage. so it is very curious to me why the romney campaign would be doing something that not only hurts national security i think as karen pointed out but seems to be politically very maladept at the same time. >> quickly, karen. >> i think they're making a miscalculation this is a quick political hit they can make on the surface. it is more complicated because of domestic and political issues in each of the countries. >> thank you both. stay with us. we have much more ahead. >> you know, i would be tempted to go back to that wonderful line by ronald reagan, there you go again, but you can't use something -- >> said that about you the other day at the democratic convention. >> i didn't happen to see that.
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for the last three nights, the u.s. embassy is surrounded by protesters. the unrest spread across the region. diplomatic missions on high alert as muslims protest the release of online movie trailer entitled "innocence of muslims." jim maceda joins us live from cairo. jim, as i speak to you now, tahrir square behind you looks like a normal friday evening. traffic is moving. people appear to be going about their business. is that a fair assessment? >> reporter: that's absolutely right, martin. tonight, the streets of cairo look amazingly normal, don't they? it is the usual chaos, beeping horns, traffic like you and i have come to expect and love so much about cairo, especially on a friday night. and right now you probably can't
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see them, but there are probably 300 or 400 protesters still on tahrir square, standing around, demonstrating with banners. they were chanting before. they're obviously there to protest against the film. earlier today, there were more, but it was never more than about a thousand or so. they're hear to protest peacefully, that's what they've done all day long. then you have the other group about 500 yards, off tahrir square to the u.s. embassy, that is blocked off by riot police. protesters playing cat and mouse with the police all day long and even after the morsi appeal. they certainly don't care about morsi, this is a group that has a strong anti-u.s. and west
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agenda. that standoff does continue, but it is driven by a tiny radical minority. otherwise, things are back to normal. i must say that's very encouraging. >> indeed. jim, do you think president morsi in making that television appearance was responding directly to the telephone conversation he had with the president of the united states who determined and told him that he needed to ensure the safety of american personnel and diplomats in cairo? >> reporter: well, let's put it this way, i don't think it is a coincidence that after president obama's phone call to president morsi two things happened. one was the tv appeal for peaceful protests, not just peaceful protests, but specifically saying to be a muslim, responsible muslim, you must protect foreign lives and foreign property. then after that, the muslim brotherhood came out, his own
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party, and called off the so-called million man march. so i think that morsi did get obama's message loud and clear, martin. >> nbc's jim maceda in tahrir square. thank you so much, jim. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. ♪ [ cellphone rings ] [ female announcer ] with secret outlast, conquer your busy day. ♪ burn let's do it. come on jenni. ♪ thank you. [ cellphone rings ] workin on it. ♪ hi. hi. how are you? [ female announcer ] outlast your day any day. with secret's 48 hour odor protection technology. secret outlast. oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor.
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>> great to be here. great to be back. >> the president exudes an air of likability. >> he may as well be elmer fudd. >> he needs to be severely aggressive. >> how can this happen in a country we helped liberate. >> the gadhafi regime came to an end, chris was there. >> they sent mixed messages to the world, a statement akin to an apology. when a mistake is made of that significance, you speak out. >> violence we believe has no place in religion. >> governor romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first, name later. >> this is politics. i'm not going to worry about the campaign. >> as president, one of the things i learned is you can't do that. >> this administration's policies project weakness abroad. >> we will bring the killers to justice. >> it was a desperate political tactic at a time a u.s. ambassador was dead. >> he held a news conference over the timing of his
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statement. >> i was not aware it was issued before or after the attacks. >> how embarrassing and weak. >> these optics suck, white house. >> the state department in fact had credible information 48 hours before. >> that report is absolutely wrong. how is it that sean hannity and a few others out here predicted. >> you were wrong about libya. >> i don't think i was wrong about libya at all. >> i would offer a moment of silence, one gentleman doesn't want to be silenced. >> do you think it was irresponsible? >> i will let the american people judge that. >> let's get to the panel. mike oh shar a, correspondent for "time" magazine, latest issue on the crisis in the middle east. and nbc contributors. thank you, all of you. if i might begin with you, mike, new issue of "time" you contrast optics of how the president conducted himself versus how romney did. what do you think voters saw?
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>> there's no doubt romney had a bad couple days when this initially happened. the press release going out before the facts were known, the fact he called a press conference to deal with timing of the press release to deal with the press conference the night before, the fact he is not talking about it on the stump, even as the situation on the ground shifts to one that could be politically advantageous. he created the contrast he didn't want to create. he was trying to project authority on foreign policy matters and looked like he wasn't ready for the job initially. i think there's time to bring it around the next couple weeks, especially if the situation continues to deteriorate overseas. >> jimmy, new nbc polls confirm what we have seen this week in several important swing states. voters just don't trust mitt romney on foreign policy. romney certainly embarrassed himself and his party this week. didn't he also blow an opportunity to effect the numbers, to improve them?
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if he had been more statesman-like? >> perhaps he shouldn't have gone to the olympics. he upset the brits, now this. he is probably a smart man. ran a state and a business. the problem is he does, indeed, shoot from the hip without thinking before he speaks. as my grandmother used to say, don't let your mouth overload your rear end, that's not the word she would say. >> jimmy, on that point, i have to press you on it. as i understand it, mr. romney went through the statement that he released somewhat prematurely in great detail. it was discussed with his personal political advisers. he didn't shoot from the hip. he planned this. he released it notwithstanding the fact he didn't even know what was going on in libya. >> well, his advisers were mostly bush advisers, and i think we can look back on that foreign policy debacle of eight years and know where we are headed if mitt romney wins. i am not saying he doesn't understand foreign politics per
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se, i am saying this time i think he's shown that he was a bit naive in shooting too early in my opinion, and it is going to effect him now. i think the american people are looking at this and saying wait wait wait. especially that narrow sliver of undecideds. you mention battleground states. of ten battleground states, president obama leads in all of them but north carolina. so this does not help romney in any of those states and the nbc, "the wall street journal," marist polls show that today. >> i want to show you something mr. romney said to george stephanopoulos that shows i would suggest his hypocrisy on domestic affairs. >> i think the challenge in the debate is that the president tends to how shall i say, say things that aren't true, and in attacking his opponents, i looked at prior debates.
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>> sorry, jared, it is the president who has trouble with the truth? >> right. so that's a real distraction, listening to the conversation with michael and jimmy and yourself, i was sitting here struck by the fact we actually have real problems, both in our country and abroad. and when i hear a line like that from a presidential candidate, it sounds like gamesmanship at a time when people need to hear the two candidates discuss the issues. i would argue the president has tried to do that. these are campaigns. people are going to obviously be partison. y you have the president criticizing the bowls simpson, they say he shut down a factory before he was there.
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>> the sequester that paul ryan voted for. >> exactly. there's issue after issue where if you would for a minute think of what this nation needs now, these guys could have a conversation that would be very important to the electorate. if you start to talk about lies like that, i think it is pure politics and pure distraction. >> jared, he had the opportunity in a lengthy and substantive interview today, broadcast on abc news, to explain and tell us which loopholes he was going to close, whether he was going to prevent and stop some deductions, say on mortgage interest, tax relief and so on, zero again, nothing. >> and this takes it to the heart of what i am trying to say. he claims to have a tax policy. that's something we should debate in this country, we have big fiscal issues. an economist marty feldstein says the only way to raise taxes
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is for 100,000 and above. that's something to talk about. that's an issue we could debate. mitt himself says no. that's not the way it is going to work. once again, numbers don't add up. representative ryan had the same problem. again to me if you're not going to debate issues at a time the country needs to hear it, a, you put yourself at a big disadvantage, b, doing us a big disservice. >> indeed. you look at the polls this week, all of them show a lead for the president. even fox news has him up by five points. do you think mentally many people have already cast their votes? >> many people cast their votes months ago. we have been fighting the last eight weeks over the 6 to 8% who have yet to decide in swing states. it may be that a couple moved in a permanent way. don't know how long the bump lasts out of the convention this week. the reality of the race is very much the same. you talk to obama campaign, they're not clicking glasses
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now, they're saying it is going to be a close race. numbers can move back. we have three or four big debates come up that could move things the other way. whatever the outcome, even with the leads, we're talking the slimmest of leads if you consider the margin of error on polls. it is comfortable to say obama has the edge now, but there's a lot of campaigning left to do. a lot of unexpected events that will take place and a lot of ways it could move in a different direction. >> 52 days indeed to go. thank you gentlemen. next, paul ryan takes the stage with some of his oldest friends like michele bachmann and the crowd, they loved it. whoa, look at all those toys.
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the annual gathering of social conservatives known as value voters summit began in washington. the headliner, paul ryan, joined a long line of like minded republicans, including michele bachmann, jim demint, amongst others. ryan spoke with hypocrisy, even for a lifelong politician. consider this promise. >> when mitt romney is elected, we will get to work on day one to repeal that mandate and all of obama care. >> that may come as something of a surprise to the man at the top of the ticket who said this just last sunday. >> i'm not getting rid of all of health care reform, of course. there are a number of things i like in health care reform. >> professor james peterson is director of african studies at lee hi university, and maria, executive director of voter latino. professor peterson, how can
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voters decide to cast vote for two men who don't appear to be able to agree with each other? >> i don't have the answer to that. judging from what we know about the relationship between senator mccain and sarah palin, it seems as if maybe these guys or this campaign is operating the same way, which is ryan and romney are in separat silos with separate consultants around them. there the two shall intertwine and meet. what's ironic about this, do they watch each other's sound clips and sound bites? a good campaign would make consistency of messaging a priority, and doesn't seem to me mr. romney or mr. ryan are operating that way now. >> indeed. maria, after spending a month trying to distance himself as co-sponsor of todd akins forcible rape bill, did he return to the roots of his ideology today? >> i am trying to figure out why
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he would go and speak at the value voters summit. they already know he has a solid base for mitt romney. what he needs to do is start going to the middle and start to appeal to women voters. attacking women's rights to choose and attacking abortion ensures women are not only going to come and vote but more than likely cast a vote against the nominee. i think what paul ryan is trying to do is curious. it is building his platform, but not making it broad enough for folks to say he understands my issues, which is not abortion and woman's right to choose but fundamentally, the economy. it is curious they're not talking about the economy. they're talking about foreign policy, they demonstrate they're incredibly trigger happy, and going after women's right to choose which are voters they desperately need. >> professor peterson, i could hear you agree with that. >> there's inherent irony about that summit, talking about issues to people they don't need most in the upcoming election.
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and here is another irony. i wonder if they value the vote. i don't think there's one mention of the fact there are voter id laws spearheaded by republican legislators that are limiting, devaluing the vote in the country now. they need to speak about that if you want to talk voters values instead of social conversational distractions that play to the base. maybe it makes them feel good to speak at these places, i don't think it is politically advantageous. >> paul ryan said this about the president's convention speech. take a listen. >> the other word, stimulus, either. >> paul ryan there was mentioning the fact he found it interesting that the president never used the word stimulus. once again, here is mitt romney five days ago on omission of the word afghanistan in his rnc speech. >> i find it interesting people are curious about mentioning
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words in a speech opposed to policy. >> again, professor peterson, they don't appear to be acknowledging what each other is doing on the campaign. >> again, they're in silos. i think what this reflects also, though, is that they're actually very different kinds of politicians with actually very different beliefs. i think ryan when we see him getting off message, he is being more of himself, and at the end of the day, they don't want to actually have a debate about the stimulus, especially stimulus mr. ryan voted for. it is confusing from a political standpoint. >> can i jump in there? >> please, very quickly. >> what's interesting is when they say they want to talk policy, the convention speech was less than 200 words. you talk about the ryan plan, he is talking about literally cutting off fbi, food safety, things that effect the middle class. that's why they don't want to go into the issues. it effects the middle class voter they need to win the
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election. >> thank you both so much. next, we go to the white house on this fast moving friday. stay with us. >> what he should have been talking about seems to me is bigger issue of foreign policy. i'm not sure the day we found out the american ambassador, first american ambassador to be killed since 1979 in action was the right time to do it. >> i had no problem with it, but we differ there. does your phone give you all day battery life ? droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr.
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the president, vice president, secretary of state, and defense secretary were all present at andrews air force base today for the solemn return of the bodies of those four americans killed in attacks on the united states consulate in libya. the president offered these words of comfort. >> we are americans. we hold our head high knowing
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that because of these patriots, because of you, this country that we love will always shine as a light onto the world. >> nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house. as this takes place, protests have spread from north africa to indonesia. there are early signs the president's call to the egyptian president has had some effect. >> reporter: as far as we hear from jim maceda and others, that is true. the president had a conversation described as very forceful with the newly elected president of egypt morsi in the past 48 hours. as a consequence, morsi issued appeal for calm. a lot of this came out of friday prayers, traditional moment in the muslim world where people
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gather and listen to their religious leaders. morsi issuing that call on the eve of those prayers, and evidently having effect from the reporting we're seeing. we have seen time and time again, you showed the president and his sound bite from that solemn ceremony in suburban maryland. before he spoke, secretary of state clinton spokane forcefully said you didn't trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of of a mob. we heard time and time again, officials from the president on down with increasing forcefulness denounce that film that instigated much of this. the jury is still out on what happened in benghazi, of course. and trying to walk back the president's comments the other day about egypt being an ally, not an enemy. then saw them call them a critical strategic partner. there's no effort in any way to change our relationship with
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egypt, the president said, as they continued to denounce and condemn what they have repeatedly called that reprehensible film responsible for much of the violence across the muslim world, martin. >> the secretary of state describing it as disgusting and reprehensible. >> yes. >> mike, thanks so much. we'll be right back. ♪ woman 1: this isn't just another election. we're voting for... the future of our medicare and social security. man 1: i want facts. straight talk. tell me your plan... and what it means for me. woman 2: i'm tired of the negative ads and political spin. that won't help me decide. man 2: i earned my medicare and social security. and i deserve some answers. anncr: where do the candidates stand on issues that... affect seniors today and in the future?
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like a squirrel stashes nuts, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec® at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air. time to clear the air. there have been more disturbances following release of the anti-muslim movie trailer that the secretary of state has called disgusting and reprehensible. that trailer had actually been around for some time, made very little impact until someone
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decided to translate the dialogue into arabic in time for the anniversary of september 11th. and of course, they knew what they were doing, provoking anger and protests across the world, and this just 52 days until the presidential election here. equally disgusting and reprehensible has been some of the inflammatory rhetoric coming from people that seem determined to throw more pet row on the flames. listen to what one adult decided to toss out last night. >> we have to ask ourselves, i wish reporters would ask our president, how much longer can we afford to spill our blood and treasure to promote democracy in places that do not have any values for civilized societies. >> in places that do not have any civilized values.
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contrast those offensive comments with what was said by a commanding officer of the british army who was about to lead his troops into war in iraq back in 2003. colonel tim collins didn't deliver his remarks from a cosmetically enhanced studio but from a desert in kuwait. this is how he addressed his soldiers. we are entering iraq to free a people, show respect for them. iraq is steeped in history. it is the site of the garden of eden, of the great flood, and the birthplace of abraham. tread lightly there. you will see things that no man could pay to see, and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous, and upright people than the iraqis. those were the words of an officer and a gentleman, mindful
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